Attention Block Watch Members,
With March being Fraud Prevention Month and residents making final preparations to their tax returns, the Surrey RCMP is reminding residents to be extra vigilant when it comes to protecting their personal and financial information.
As frauds involving the Canada Revenue Agency are on the rise not only in Surrey but across the country, tax season is prime time for fraudsters to prey on unsuspecting victims. Residents need to be vigilant if they receive fraudulent communications from these agencies and report it to authorities immediately if they suspect they are a victim.
“This time of year serves as a good reminder for residents to check their mail regularly when sensitive financial and personal information may be arriving daily in your mailbox,” says Surrey RCMP Corporal Scotty Schumann. “If criminals are able to access this information they can fraudulently use it to gain access to bank accounts, apply for loans and credit cards, or engage in criminal activity that ultimately becomes associated to you.”
Surrey RCMP has also noticed a trend in fraudulent telephone calls claiming to be from debt collectors for unpaid phone, cable, hydro, or other utility bills. Most of the reports involve complainants who have lost their wallets or purses within the last year and have not reported it to authorities. Scams like this are good reminders to cancel and replace all important cards once lost and to routinely check your credit report to ensure you are not a victim of identity theft.
Another scam that residents should be aware of that is making the rounds locally is the “black” or “white” money scam. This sophisticated counterfeit scheme comes in multiple forms but usually involves currency that on initial appearance has no colour but can apparently be washed with a chemical that makes it a legitimate bank note. In most cases, the victims are usually conned into making an initial investment into this counterfeit money with the promise of large returns.
“Surrey is a very diverse community that includes many residents who are new to Canada,” says Cpl. Schumann. “Unfortunately those who are unfamiliar with how our institutions and businesses operate can be more susceptible to these frauds. We ask that residents take this opportunity to discuss these recent fraud trends with family members who may not be aware.”
For more information on fraud prevention please visit the Scams & Fraud page on our website. If your business or community group would like to host an info session on fraud prevention please contact the Surrey RCMP’s Economic Crime Unit at 604-599-0502. If you are the victim of a fraud, please contact your local police and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or at 1-888-495-8501.
Committed to serving the Community Your Surrey RCMP is committed to providing a sensitive, responsive, professional policing service for all Surrey communities. For more information about Surrey RCMP Programs & Services, how to Protect Yourself, or our latest News Releases visit www.surrey.rcmp.ca.
CRIME PREVENTION PROGRAMS COORDINATOR